Tracing your Italian Ancestry - A Half-day Course on 8 February 2020

A half-day course to help you get to grips with the fundamentals of Italian family history.

Does your family tree stretch back to Italy? Fantastic – but also a bit difficult if you don’t know much Italian and family members can’t help. Let us help you, here at the Society of Genealogists, with the first of two courses. Join Lynn Serafinn and travel on a timeline back through Italian history to get the context. Then find out what information is available and how to find it.

Everyone receives a packet of handouts containing lists and links of Italian genealogy research resources, as well as a vocabulary list of Italian terms you are likely to meet in your research.

By the end of this course, you’ll be ready for Lynn’s second course ‘Reading and Understanding Italian Genealogical Records’ on 23 May.

Session 1 Migration and Naming Conventions

Lynn begins by considering how regional identities and modern DNA testing can surprise you about what it means to be ‘Italian’.

She discusses why people migrated and the impact that could have on those of Italian descent. She highlights the top 7 challenges you are likely to face when tracing your Italian ancestors.

Next, Lynn explains the categories, the origins and the meanings of Italian surnames. Plus she covers personal names, naming conventions, and introduces ‘soprannomi’ (special nicknames).

Session 2 Records and Getting Started

A fundamental need is to understand how Italy’s records are organised – both civil and and ecclesiastical. Then Lynn explains where to start looking for civil and church records.

She also covers notary records and other ‘pergamene’ (parchments) that may take you back to earlier years.

Then Lynn gives you some advice. If you’re a beginner, she covers how to start ‘from scratch’. And if you’ve already started, she covers how to take your research further.

A half-day course on Saturday, 8 February (14:00-17:00) with Lynn Serafinn, cost £20.00/£16.00 SoG members. Places must be pre-booked, through our website or by telephone: 020 7251 8799 (Tue-Thu & Sat). Do you have a question? email the events department. 

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